Education Specialist (EdS)
Semester of Degree Completion
The purpose of this study was to identify the training topics offered to newly elected and incumbent school board members by state school boards associations. The researcher then evaluated the materials to determine which states have laws requiring board members to participate in training programs.
The study was designed to answer three research questions:
1. What are the topics offered by state school boards associations for school board member training?
2. What states have laws requiring individual school board members to participate in training programs, and what are those requirements?
3. What states have training programs specifically designed for newly elected board members?
The study took place in the spring of 1998. The researcher sent letters to all 50 state school boards associations to request materials related to training topics presented to their members. Thirty-two state school boards associations (64%) responded with materials for consideration in this study.
The results indicated that state associations offer 17 different training topics. Respondents indicated that the most frequently presented training topic was school law (69%) followed by school finance (66%). Data collected from the respondents indicated that 10 states (31%) have laws requiring board members to participate in a training program. Analysis of data showed that 4 of the 10 states with training requirements have an established training program for members to attend. The results of the study also indicated that 18 states have training programs specifically designed for newly elected board members. Nine of those 18 states have laws requiring new board member training.
The researcher concluded that state school boards associations consider board training a key function of their organization. Another conclusion was that if school board members are to gain a better understanding of how school systems work, they need more than a voluntary training program.
The findings led to two recommendations being made to the state legislature and the Illinois Association of School Boards. The first recommendation would require board members to participate in a structured program during their tenure in office. There would be a three-level training process that requires eight hours of training at each training level. The second recommendation would require the entire board to participate in a state facilitated board self-evaluation program.
Jordan, David, "Identification of Training Needs for School Board Members" (1998). Masters Theses. 1705.